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Coinbase Sets Foot in Spain


Coinbase, the cryptocurrency exchange, has successfully obtained Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance registration from Spain's central bank as part of its ongoing expansion efforts across Europe.


In a statement released on September 22, Coinbase announced that its registration with the Bank of Spain now allows Spanish users to securely retain custody of their cryptocurrency assets on the platform. Furthermore, they can conveniently buy and sell various cryptocurrencies using the euro.


Coinbase emphasized that this registration enables the company to offer its complete range of products and services to both retail and institutional users in Spain while operating in full compliance with the national legal framework.


The statement also highlighted the growing interest in digital assets within Spain, noting that nearly one-third of adults in the country have a positive outlook on cryptocurrencies, with "29% of adults in Spain believing that crypto represents the future of finance."


Moreover, Coinbase pointed out that cryptocurrency adoption has surged to the extent that it has become Spain's second most preferred payment method, surpassing traditional bank transfers.


Nana Murugesan, Vice President of International and Business Development at Coinbase, expressed the company's commitment to regulatory compliance on a global scale. She stated, "In the last year alone, we have obtained VASP (Virtual Asset Service Provider) registrations in Italy, Ireland, and the Netherlands. We've also received in-principle approval for operations in Singapore, launched our services in Brazil, and, most recently, initiated operations in Canada."


Crypto.com, another cryptocurrency exchange, secured regulatory approval not long ago in Spain. On June 23, Crypto.com revealed that it had obtained a virtual asset service provider registration from the Bank of Spain.


Back in October 2021, the Bank of Spain issued guidance outlining the procedures that crypto service providers should follow to attain Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance within the country.


These guidelines stipulated that cryptocurrency exchanges are required to submit comprehensive reports detailing their measures to prevent unlawful activities such as money laundering and the financing of terrorism.


In recent developments, Coinbase has been actively working to establish a significant presence in Europe.


On September 22, Coinbase made two attempts to acquire the defunct crypto exchange FTX Europe. The first attempt was in November 2022, when FTX filed for bankruptcy, and the second attempt was in September 2023.


These efforts by Coinbase coincide with growing concerns raised by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) regarding the necessity for stricter oversight by non-European regulators in the global cryptocurrency market.


As the implementation deadline for the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) Act approaches in December 2024, an EPRS report has emphasized the importance of establishing a more robust regulatory framework in jurisdictions outside the European Union (EU).


The report underscores the potential risks to the EU's financial system and autonomy, as it remains reliant on policy actions taken by non-EU countries in situations where MiCA is applicable.


Reference

Coinbase secures AML registration from the Bank of Spain (2023) Cointelegraph. Available at: https://cointelegraph.com/news/coinbase-aml-registration-bank-of-spain

(Accessed: 24 September 2023).


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